It took a bit of digging, but the daughter of Paul Newman discovered some “naughty” letters that he wrote to Joanne Woodward. Melissa Newman, in a new book, is sharing some of those intimate moments between Newman and Woodward.
She said to Fox News Digital, “We’d gone through ripped bags. I remember right before one was about to be thrown out, I reached in — there were moths and dead mice everywhere…and I found the first 10 letters my dad ever wrote to my mom.”
In Head Over Heels: Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman — A Love Affair In Words And Pictures, Melissa offers readers an inside look at this marriage.
“There [are] quotes from the letters in the book,” she said. “I would read the letters and just go, ‘Oh, this is so sweet. This should go in the book.’ And then I would be reading on, and then I’d go, ‘Ooh, Dad, I can’t put this in the book!’”
Paul Newman Had a Way to Woo Joanne Woodward
Melissa Newman said, “I always say, ‘People, read the things that my dad wrote to my mom … and take notes, man. This is how you woo somebody. And it’s just so obvious that he was just [hit] upside the head. He fell for her so hard.”
The first time that Newman and Woodward met was back in 1953. Both of them happened to be understudies for the Broadway show Picnic. Newman happened to be married to his first wife, Jackie Witte, at the time. Newman, though, started a torrid love affair with Woodward. Melissa said the affair was “like a freight train. It was sort of inexorable. Jackie was a wonderful person, but I think they were just escaping the Midwest.”
Now, Melissa did wonder if she should still be reading those letters between Newman and Woodward. But in looking at them, she realized that Newman was in love with Woodward…something that lasted until his death in 2008 at 83. These days, Woodward is 92, and has Alzheimer’s disease, and stays mostly at home.
Additionally, Melissa says that the books are as adult as you can get. She says that the letters are “bawdy” and “naughty.” But she makes it clear that it is “not smutty.”
Newman, in his 2022 memoir published after his death, says that Woodward helped him become a “sexual creature.” “We left a trail of lust all over the place,” he wrote. “Hoteles and public parks and Hertz Rent-A-Cars.”
The actor who appeared in The Hustler and Hud, among other movies, recalled in the memoir how Woodward had set things up in a room. He humorously called it “the F–k hut.”
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